Battle of British Columbia Powers at Emerald City- Ryan Sclater, Nick Irvine + Luke Morris + more!
VANCOUVER,BC–The 47th annual Vancouver College Emerald Tournament tipped off Thursday, Jan. 19 in Vancouver, with five of the eight participating teams ranking in the AAA provincial top ten , two being on the honourable mention, and one being #1 in B.C. at the double-A level.
Suggesting that this tournament is loaded with talent is an understatement.
NPH was able to catch the two evening games on Thursday, and here’s a breakdown of what went down on the first day of the Emerald.
Day 1 NPH Top Performers
- Ryan Sclater- 32 points
- Nick Irvine- 31 points
- Luke Morris- 25 points
- Mack Thompson- 24 points
- Jake Newman- 21 points
- Cole Penman- 18 points
- Paul Getz- 16 points
- Jesse Coy- 18 points
- Isaiah Solomon- 15 points
Oak Bay Bay vs Vancouver College Fighting Irish
The home-team Irish and NPH #5-ranked Vancouver College have reached the top of the podium for two years running, and they don’t look ready to end that streak anytime soon.
VC, ranked sixth in the province, dispatched tenth-ranked Oak Bay 80-72 in the tourney’s opening match.
The senior-guard tandem of Cole Penman and Isaiah Solomon went for 18 and 15 respectively. Both Penman and Solomon played major minutes last year during the Fighting Irish’s deep run at the provincials, eventually falling to R.C. Palmer in the finals. The two also came off a summer playing with the B.C. Under-17 Provincial Team that finished with a bronze at nationals.
Walnut Grove Gators vs Burnaby South Rebels
As I showed up to the gym and took a look at the score sheets from the earlier games, I wish I had arrived just a little bit earlier, as Burnaby South narrowly beat the third ranked team in B.C. 69-67. Six-foot-seven senior Nick Irvine was too much for Gators, as the Rebels’ forward dropped 31 points.
Irvine played with the B.C. U-17 team when he was in grade 10, and is without a doubt one of the most talented players at the Emerald. Gators grade-11 forward Paul Getz, who suited up for B.C.’s U-16 team last summer, finished with 16 points.
Terry Fox Ravens vs White Rock Christian Academy Warriors
This one was a straight up, shot-for-shot battle of two guard-gifted 6-7 scoring machines. Terry Fox’s Ryan Sclater and WRCA’s Jake Newman battled the whole night, but Sclater and the Ravens got the best of the Warriors, edging them out for a 75-72 victory.
Sclater was Thursday’s high scorer with 32 points, while Newman dropped 21. Fox’s zone defence and full-court press, both anchored by Sclater, proved to be the difference, as WRCA failed to get any sort of momentum due to the Ravens’ length and athleticism.
In regards to Sclater, he has everything you want in a player. He attacks the hoop and has the footwork and touch to finish with ease.
He stretches the defence with his three-point range, and perhaps most important, he has a killer mentality. When Sclater decides to go into boss mode, he flicks a switch and raises his game at both ends of the court.
During one defensive possession, a WRCA player elbowed Sclater in the face on a pass follow-through.
Sclater, momentarily dazed, responded with a quick steal and took it the length of the court for one of his three dunks on the night. He could play post-secondary ball at (insert any CIS school here), but unfortunately for basketball recruiters, he has committed to the Trinity Western University Spartans for volleyball.
Mission Roadrunners vs W.J. Mouat Hawks
The last game of the night proved to be the most exciting, with the honourable-mention Hawks taking on the double-A number-one ranked team in B.C.
Jeevan Bhogal was unconscious in the first quarter, hitting all three of the long bombs that he launched, leading Mission to a 19-14 advantage heading into the second frame. Mouat’s 6-4 guard Jesse Coy scored 18 in the first two quarters, including eight consecutive in the waning minutes of the first half, keeping the Hawks close to the Roadrunners, the latter leading 32-27 at halftime.
In the third, 6-3 Hawk wing Mack Thompson poured in 16 points, helping Mouat outscore Mission 26-11 for the quarter en route to a 53-43 lead.
However, Mission cut the deficit to just two points with a little over three minutes to go behind the strong offensive play from 6-5 senior Luke Morris. Morris nailed a three to put the Roadrunners up 62-61 with just 59 seconds left, but Mouat answered with an easy look from the elbow to go up 63-62 with 36 seconds remaining.
Mouat’s collapsing forced Mission into a bad look on the potential go-ahead, and after rebounding the miss, the Hawks called a timeout. But they managed to botch the inbounds, and Mission set up for a chance to regain the lead they had worked so hard to build in the first half.
Five-foot-nine workhorse Luc Comeau beat four of the five Hawks defenders to the cup, but didn’t account for the long-armed Coy, who emphatically swatted Comeau’s layup out-of-bounds, giving the Roadrunners one last chance with only 1.4 ticks left on the clock.
Morris, who went off for 16 in the fourth alone, caught the baseline inbounds pass and nailed a 10-foot jumper off the glass to win it at the buzzer, propelling Mission to a 64-63 win and a ticket to Friday’s semifinals.
Morris finished with 25 in the game, while Mouat’s Thompson pumped in 24 and Coy added 18.
Day 2 Preview
On the consolation side, Walnut Grove plays Oak Bay in the battle of Bob Ross painting titles with diy paint by numbers at 3:15 pm, while Mouat tips off against WRCA at 5 pm.
In the two semifinals, Burnaby South is slated to play the host Vancouver College at 6:45 pm, and then Mission matches up with Terry Fox at 8:30 pm.
To keep up with live-coverage of the tourney, be sure to look for #EmeraldTourney on Twitter.